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Chapter Five

Hermione had just climbed under her covers when she heard a commotion in the library. Odd, she couldn't imagine any students making so much noise, not when they all seemed to constantly expect swift and strict punishment for something or another.

But the sound of the library doors being forced open, and then slamming shut was so loud, she thought it might've actually shaken the walls.

Frowning, she climbed right back out of bed and crossed her quarters. As she opened the door that led out to the library, she felt a genuine jolt of surprise to see Orias Mulciber storming toward her. Dear God, starting to feel things again was unpleasant.

She shook off the emotion, but not before she'd reacted. Sooner than she realized she'd even moved, she had backpedaled. And he followed—right into her quarters. He stared down at her, his breathing so heavy the rise and fall of his massive shoulders with each inhalation was noticeable.

Hermione could not imagine what she had possibly done to make him so very angry. "What is—?"

"Dolohov," he said, as if that were an explanation.

Though, given what Dolohov had done before he'd left the library just a short while earlier, it was plenty of explanation. "Oh." Her brows drew up only a fraction as she nodded. She owed him nothing, now did she?

But she suddenly thought she had a very good idea why he was so upset, after what Dolohov had told her. After learning what her three escorts had been discussing recently.

Blinking her dulled eyes, she offered a barely-visible shrug. "What of him?"

"I . . . ." Orias closed his mouth, frowning hard. What was he to say to that? What the hell was he even doing here? He had no providence over her.

Yet, it infuriated him that Dolohov had been the one to make a move, first.

But from what he knew of her, perhaps he could coax her into having some sort of response. "Oh, c'mon, little witch. You're not stupid. You've got to know why I'm less than happy, right now."

Again, that minimal lift of her brows as she nodded. "Indeed, I do, now that you put it like that. But I think I understand the situation even better than you do."

Uttering a scoffing sound, he drew up to his full height and folded his arms across his chest. "Really? Do tell."

Hermione mirrored his stance as she stared up at him. She was really only guessing, but it was a good way to gauge what was really going on in their heads. And, if she could bargain with them, perhaps they'd continue keeping her secret from Voldemort.

"You all want a piece of me."

Now, it was his brows that inched up. Well, damn, that did sound exactly like what was happening.

"And so, a piece of me is all each of you get."

There was an edge of challenge in her voice, faint, but unmistakable. Was she daring him to test her on this?

He dropped his arms to his sides, a smirk curving his lips as he took a step closer to her. "If that's the case, I think I'll be taking my piece, now. But I warn you, it's certainly going to be bigger than what Dolohov got from you."

Again, Hermione backpedaled; this time he followed her until she was trapped between him and the wall. She wasn't afraid, and she wondered if that was stupid, but she had a feeling he wouldn't hurt her . . . at least not any more than she might want him to.

Holding her gaze, he withdrew his wand and then caught both of her wrists in his free hand. There was nothing so priceless as watching those chestnut eyes of hers spark to life, filling with curiosity as he pulled up her arms and pinned them above her head.

Smirking, he tapped her wrists once with the tip of his wand, and—quite to her surprise—she realized he'd just used a sticking charm. Who needed restraints when one had magic? Why had such a simple thing never occurred to her?

There was just something in the way he was looking at her that forced her to hold onto that flare of emotion he'd spurred. Staring up at him, she found it hard to breathe for a moment as she asked, "This is how you want me?" Being bound was certainly a new experience for her.

That smirk widened into a grin as he nodded. "God, yes."

Swallowing hard, she nodded back. "And what is it you mean to do with me?"

His lips were parted, so there was no missing how he ran the tip of his tongue along the edge of his teeth before he said, "I mean to find out if you taste as good as I think you do."

Again, she had to remind herself to breathe.

Orias arched a brow at the hint of color that flooded her cheeks. Well, that was a lovely look, indeed, but he was never one to waste his time where he wasn't wanted. "Unless there's an objection?"

A shiver wracked her, even as she shook her head.

That smirk again, just before he curled the fingers of his free hand into her hair and covered her mouth with his own. God, the pleading whimper that tore out of her as he thrust his tongue between her lips was a divine sound.

But, just as fast, he broke the kiss, lowering slowly against her as he dragged his teeth over her through the fabric of her robes. He'd thought about this before—several times, in fact—but never quite so much as he had in the last half hour since her little revelation to the Dark Lord about not having any undergarments to wear. Just thinking that it must've meant she'd been bare under her robes every time he'd been around her for a while, now . . . .

The little moan she uttered as his mouth trailed down over her breast tore him from his reverie. Good thing, too, as he was in danger of getting hard, already, and he'd barely done a thing, yet.

As he drifted lower, still, he gathered the length of her robes in his free hand and tugged them up, out of his way. Flicking his gaze upward, he watched her face as he dropped to his knees. She hadn't been able to take her eyes off him.

Biting into his bottom lip, he tore his gaze from hers as he lifted her leg, resting it over his shoulder. Orias tilted his head, this way and that, making a show of it as he examined her.

The first exploratory touch of his fingers over her forced a gasp from her. God, it had been a while, hadn't it?

He uttered a pained groan as he parted her. "You're already wet and I've barely done anything. You will never cease to intrigue me, will you?"

I certainly hope not, she thought, but she couldn't tell him that. He'd get too full of himself over it, and it seemed he was more than confident enough, as it was. And maybe there was just a bit more to this than simply wanting to give him incentive to keep her secret.

Instead, she only said, "I don't know."

He noticed her eyeing his wand, then. He hadn't set it down, and he knew she must be wondering about that. With a grin, he tapped the tip to her leg, sending the faintest little shock of pain through her body as he brought his mouth to her.

She threw her head back, biting her lip to keeping in a moan she knew was likely to be heard outside the library's walls. That little, stinging jolt mixed with the stroking of his tongue and she lost her ability to think.

The way she pushed her hips from the wall, trying to get closer to him, brought a chuckle out of him. He obliged, however. Scooting closer to the wall so he could support her without pulling on her pinned arms, he lifted her other leg, sliding that over his shoulder, as well.

Hermione watched in a daze as his head moved against her. The pressure of his mouth buried between her thighs as he suckled and lapped at her was nearly too much. Nearly . . . .

Then, Orias seemed to remember that he'd taken his wand from her skin when he'd shifted her. He could feel her body tensing around him—dear Merlin, how long had it been since he'd had a woman's legs wrapped around his head? Clearly far too long, he thought, as he was going at this much too eagerly.

He didn't care, though. The taste of her against his tongue, the feel of her skin pressed to his as she made those delicious whimpering moans for his ears, alone, was all that mattered. He wanted to make her come, just like this, and he had her right on the verge, already.

This would typically be considered far too fast for his liking, but they could work their way up to that.

She shuddered at the way he swirled the tip of his tongue over her before he scraped his teeth against her and returned to suckling at that sensitive little bit of flesh. "Oh, dear God, Professor Mulciber!"

A chuckle rumbled in the back of his throat. Well, he'd certainly never said she didn't have to call him Professor, and he quite liked the sound of that . . . at least with the way her voice was shaking.

Hermione sank her teeth hard into her bottom lip as she pressed harder against him. Her body had gone taut and his tongue was very skilled, but somehow, she seemed stuck there, right on the edge.

Then, he uttered a low rumbling sound, like a growl, and touched his wand to her skin, again. The sweet, little spark of agony that coursed through her in contrast to the working of his mouth pushed her over and she threw back her head, closing her lips against a scream as she came.

That growl shifted into a sound that was a bizarre mix of encouragement and hunger as he continued feasting on her.

Her orgasm seemed to last forever, and yet started to ebb much too quickly, all at the same time.

She held onto the blissful sensation, keeping her muscles tensed until fine tremors ran along her limbs, and her body gave out, quite without her permission.

Cupping her arse with his hands, he rocked her against his mouth, nursing her through the aftershocks.

When she finally stilled in his hold, little shivers still running through her, he lowered his wand. Though, he lapped and suckled at her for a few moments, more, before pulling back to look up at her.

She was staring down at him, again, that wonderful color in her face as she tried to catch her breath. Oh, so much more he wanted to do, but he thought she'd probably had enough, for now.

Setting her feet on the floor, he stood, an almost drunken gleam in his eye as he dispelled the sticking charm. He caught her as she unexpectedly collapsed forward. Well, he expected it, but he could tell from the look of surprise on her face that she hadn't.

"Well?" she asked, her voice tumbling out in a trembling whisper as he scooped her up and carried her across her quarters.

Orias arched a brow as he settled her on her bed and the tugged the covers up over her. "Well, what, little witch?"

Hermione swallowed hard, feeling the numbness starting to creep back over her. She wanted to get this question out before she felt herself slip back into genuinely not caring about the answer.

"Do I taste as good as you thought I would?"

He smirked. "Oh, yes."

She nodded as she let her eyes drift closed. She'd planned on taking a before dinner, after all, hadn't she?

"I will be escorting you to the Great Hall for dinner," he informed her, as though reading her thoughts.

Again, she nodded. The last thing she heard as she drifted off was his footfalls going toward her door.


As Orias exited the librarian's quarters, he pulled the door closed. Huh, that had been open the entire time. Thank Merlin the library'd had no visitors just now, or he would probably have some explaining to do to the Dark Lord.

Returning to the main room of the library, he realized . . . . Their Lord's bizarre treatment of the witch didn't just puzzle him, it bothered him. There was something not quite right about it.

He knew the Dark Lord wanted to break her, so what did that have to do with the torments he was now inflicting on Nott and Amycus for threatening her? Hadn't . . . hadn't Dolohov mentioned something about the serpentine wizard being particularly intrigued that she'd found photographs of what he looked like in his youth?

Leaning an elbow back against the front desk, he chewed his lip as he tried to make sense of it, all.

The library doors opened, then, drawing him from his pondering before he could give the matter any real thought.

Alecto arched a dark brow at him as she strolled in and headed for the Restricted Section. "What are you doing, lingering there?"

He frowned and offered a shrug. "Waiting 'til dinner, apparently. Our librarian is catching a nap. You?"

She flashed a scroll over her shoulder as she kept walking. "Fetching research materials for our Lord."

Orias' frown deepened, but he didn't bother asking, as he knew he probably wouldn't get anything more out of her. He imagined she probably didn't know anything more than that, herself. They were both aware that the Dark Lord's business was many things—none of theirs among them.

He was troubled by it, as he watched the dark-haired witch disappear behind the shelves. The Dark Lord needed to research something? Needed to research anything?

Since bloody when?